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California Biodiesel Alliance News

California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association  

August 2013    

In This Issue
First Annual Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit Brings Industry Experts and Legislators Together
Community Fuels Tour Focuses on California Production, Fuel Quality, LCFS Defense
New Case Study Shows Rapid Growth of Biodiesel Industry in California
Advanced Biofuels Industry Shows Steady Growth
REGULATORY AND POLICY ISSUE UPDATES
CBA WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS: Village Fuel Stop
WHO'S WHO IN CALIFORNIA BIODIESEL: Kristof Reiter, Reiter Scientific

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This issue begins with a welcome to our newest Bronze level business member, Village Fuel Stop, before presenting several late-breaking positive stories on clean, low carbon fuels, advanced biofuels, and of course, biodiesel. This month's Who's Who article features Kristof Reiter, founder of Reiter Scientific.

 

Lots of late summer reading here. Enjoy!    

 

To view back issues of this newsletter and CBA Email Alerts 

click on the "View CBA Email Newsletter Archive" button on our Home page.  

First Annual Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit

Brings Industry Experts and Legislators Together

  

CALSTART, in coordination with Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, hosted an educational summit for policymakers at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento on August 27th. This very successful event was attended by leaders from the alternative fuel industry, government, and the NGO community who devoted an afternoon to focused dialogue on the role of state policies and incentives. The discussion included Senators Ben Hueso and Anna-Beth Jackson and Assemblymembers Susan Talamantes Eggman, Al Muratsuchi, Phil Ting, and Henry T. Perea.  

  

John Boesel, President and CEO of CALSTART, opened the event by giving examples of and citing progress in a range of efforts toward clean fuels and technologies. He made special mention of the two bills pending in the legislature, SB 11 and AB 8, which would extend $2 billion in funding for clean transportation until 2023. He also placed California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), a policy to lower carbon intensity in transportation fuels by 10% by 2020, at the center of the day's discussion.

 

Wade Crowfoot, Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Senior Adviser to Governor Brown, stated that the governor's goal is nothing less than the cleanest transportation system in the world. In talking about the administration's focus on achieving the state's 2050 target of the 80% reduction in carbon required for climate balance, he pointed out that a key area is ZEVs, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. He said that there are 119 specific actions to support the private sector in transitioning to a reality in which 1 out of every 6 vehicles purchased in the state is a ZEV, per the Governor's executive order requiring 1.5 million ZEVs by 2025. He confirmed the administration's support for LCFS and urged everyone in the room to get involved in lobbying on behalf of SB 11 and AB 8.

 

Expert panelists represented the largest producers and providers of biodiesel, renewable diesel, and natural gas in the US and beyond; producers and distributors of emerging fuels like DME and natural gas made from very low carbon renewable sources including methane; academic researchers working in this area to develop new feedstocks from purpose grown energy crops and algae; technical specialists; utilities; regional air quality management districts; biofuels associations; and an alternative fuel retailer.   

  

In the presentations and during Q & A, there was widespread agreement on the incentivizing effect of LCFS. The importance of LCFS' role as a jobs and economic development program that is very much needed to create the kind of competition that attracts fuel production facilities and other job-creating clean, low carbon businesses to California, came up early on in the day's conversation. Many in the room, where biofuels were strongly represented, supported streamlined permitting, additional funding, and especially regulatory certainty in our bell weather state.

 

Of special note were statements by Dr. Phillip Sheehy of ICF Consulting. ICF prepared the recently released study entitled California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Compliance Outlook for 2020, which found LCFS to be exceeding expectations and the alternative fuels private market to be developing much faster than anticipated under the program, especially with regard to diesel displacement. Dr. Sheehy also said that there are more opportunities under LCFS and quite a bit of room for innovation in sustainable community strategies through SB 375 and other incentives and regional programs.

 

The legislators in attendance, in recognizing the value of the clean, low carbon companies and programs in their districts, mentioned these important constituents, many of whom were in the room. Assemblymember Eggman, a new member from Stockton, which is home to biodiesel producer Community Fuels and Pacific Ethanol's biomass plant, said that as Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, she is interested in biodigesters and agrees that industry needs regulatory certainty. Senator Ben Hueso, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on California's Energy Independence, said his district has benefited from LCFS and mentioned two biodiesel producers, New Leaf Biofuels and IWP. He said that the state has an abundance of revenue resources, like AB 32 or Prop 39, but there's a need for improved communication about them.  

 

Assemblymember Ting talked about the SFGreacycle program, which turns used restaurant grease into biodiesel for San Francisco's diesel fleet fueling, as an example of local governments as early adopters and purchasers of alt fuel vehicles and technologies. AB 1077, which would calculate sales tax and vehicle registration fees after the alt fuel vehicle rebates have been applied was discussed by Assemblymember Muratsuchi, who introduced it. Assemblymember Perea, who represents areas of the Central Valley, said that he has "gotten into this fight" with AB 8 in partnership with CALSTART based on his interest in extending the Carl Moyer program, which provides incentives for cleaner heavy-duty engines, and is working closely with Senator Pavely to get it and/or SB 11 to the Governor's office. BIODICO's sugar beet research project is based is his district, and its biodiesel facility at the Naval Base in Ventura County is in Senator Senator Anna-Beth Jackson's district, which she mentioned in her presentation.  

 

To a room well aware of the oil industry's opposition to LCFS, Senator Jackson went on to say that the oil industry has spent a record amount of money lobbying in the state capitol this year and pointed out that half of the State Assembly is new and doesn't know the territory. She said that for every one person who comes and talks to her about low carbon fuels, there are six oil company lobbyists who talk about the importance of drilling and fracking. Echoing the other legislators, including Eggman, who invited one of the attendees to her office to talk further about a funding idea he brought up at the meeting, Jackson said she needs those in the room to step up and tell us what you need, because "you are the good guys."   

 

Senator Jackson was not alone in talking about the fact that the world is looking to California, specifically to the success of LCFS, as a model for addressing climate change, which is already having negative effects. The gravity of this reality was enhanced when she referenced JFK's goal of putting a man on the moon in a decade and said that what we are trying to do here is to reach a similarly high bar.

   

The California Biodiesel Alliance (CBA), an official summit sponsor at the Supporter level, along with CBA members BIODICO and REG, was grateful for the opportunity to be involved in this much-needed forum. We were pleased to see biodiesel recognized as an important pathway for achieving LCFS compliance and to have two member company representatives, Eric Bowen of REG and Matt Horton of Propel, as presenters. We look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders to protect our state's low carbon policies and related funding mechanisms, one of which, AB 118, is very important to the biodiesel industry and is covered under SB 11 and AB 8. Propel,   

 

The summit agenda can be downloaded at:

https://conference.stagedrightevents.com/Registration/information.aspx?id=t3mvMfSo0UqvXscd47SjNA&item=444

  

Community Fuels Tour
Focuses on California Production,
Fuel Quality, and LCFS Defense

 

Lisa Mortenson, Don Scott, Celia DuBose
Lisa Mortenson, Don Scott, Celia DuBose
Photo by Captivating Photos
On August 14th, Community Fuels CEO, Lisa Mortenson, hosted a tour of the company's biorefinery located at the Port of Stockton. Organized for the benefit of California environmental NGOs by the California Biodiesel Initiative (CBI), a joint venture of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and CBA, the tour and follow-up lunch discussion were attended by representatives from the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, CALSTART, Catholic Charities/Stockton Diocese, the Better World Group, and the Energy Foundation.

 

After donning hard hats, the group gathered first for some background on this multi-feedstock biodiesel production facility and an introduction to the Director of Operations, Chris Young, who led the plant tour. From outside the facility, Lisa pointed out the railcars sitting on the multiple on-site rail tracks (the plant has access to both UP and BNSF railroads and the Stockton deep-water shipping channel) and the adjacent land where a new biodiesel fuel terminal for storage and fuel delivery will be built. Community's plant has been operating since 2008, making it one of the longest continuously operating plants in the Western U.S. As the tour began, one of the nation's largest bulk fuel distributors could be seen onsite loading a tanker truck.

 

Community Fuels is well known in the biodiesel industry for its mastery of the complex and multi-layered compliance requirements for fuel producers and industrial plants. From inside the plant's lab, Chris and Lisa talked about their company's ability to meet the rigorous auditing requirements of the major oil companies, referencing several who have higher fuel quality specifications than ASTM and buy biodiesel in order to comply with both the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Both stressed, at different times during the tour, the continuing rise in the quality of the biodiesel made by California producers, with Lisa calling it "great" and mentioning that she is not the only local producer able to meet refiner quality specifications.

 

CBI Executive Director, Ryan Lamberg, began the lunch discussion, which included biodiesel industry presentations and a chance for open dialogue and questions from NGOs. Ryan set the tour in the context of the need for state policy that supports California's biodiesel industry and its ability to contribute to the success of LCFS. CBA's Executive Director, also reiterated the need to defend LCFS and talked about CBA's accomplishments, rapid growth, and increasing recognition by state agencies as exemplary in working over the years to help them complete their part of the complex process of bringing biodiesel to market as a new fuel in California. NBB's Shelby Neal, Director of State Government Affairs, discussed the national organization and gave an overview of the importance of policy to the success of state industries, singling out LCFS as the best state policy in the nation. Don Scott, Director of Sustainability for NBB, gave a presentation entitled Liquid Solar Energy that detailed facts supporting biodiesel's sustainable characteristics. Roger Wolf, who heads up STAARS, a national farmer-led initiative that collects and analyzes farm resource management and sustainability data, discussed how farmers are using technology to improve farm profitability, energy efficiency, and environmental performance.

 

In the robust discussion that followed, NGO representatives delved into environmental and sustainability topics. Among the important issues was an explanation of the annual auditing process that NBB goes through with the US EPA toward the goal of ensuring that the US biodiesel industry is not creating a market for palm oil as a biodiesel feedstock. In answering questions about her experience, Lisa championed the cause of in-state biodiesel production and detailed how her plant is an example of California industry's ability to provide, good family-supporting jobs, and improve local air quality. Catholic Charities/Stockton Diocese, the environmental justice NGO in attendance, was especially interested in Lisa's passion for a less-often mentioned benefit of biodiesel's emissions profile -- reduced particulate matter. This issue is very important in Stockton, where low-income families, and children in particular, are disproportionately affected by respiratory diseases caused by diesel pollution, especially asthma.

 

In the context of the overarching agreement about the need for LCFS to succeed, the day ended on a high note with recognition that the biodiesel industry has a good story to tell, not just to legislative and regulatory bodies, but to the public and to the press. And that we have a growing body of evidence, including the recently released California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Compliance Outlook for 2020 prepared by ICF, that we can use to rebut petroleum industry-funded anti-LCFS efforts.


   New Case Study Shows Rapid Growth of Biodiesel Industry in California  

 

Businesses Prove innovative Fuel Policy  

Leads to Increase in Jobs, Alternative Fuel Production  

 

By Environmental Defense Fund and E2  --  August 26, 2013

Biodiesel in CA brochure A case study released today from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and E2 examines the benefits of biodiesel, profiling six companies in California helping to revolutionize the industry. A growing production in the state shows California companies have started capitalizing on this diverse, low-carbon fuel.

 

As the world's first advanced biofuel to be commercially produced, biodiesel has the capacity to create a triple-win for the state.  It not only reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality; it is providing consumers with additional fuel choices at the pump and spurs green job growth. 

 

"Once again, California is ahead of the curve when it comes to delivering on fuels that not only protect the environment but also make good business sense to produce," said Emily Reyna, Senior Manager of Partnerships and Alliances for EDF. "Because of the state's commitment to biodiesel, we'll continue to see biodiesel opportunities grow, an industry that is prime to be a leader in alternative fuels for California."

 

The companies profiled in this case study- Biodico, North Star Biofuels, LC, Yokayo Biofuels, Crimson Renewable Energy, LP, Imperial Western Products, and Propel Fuels, each demonstrate one of the six steps of the biodiesel value chain. These companies are integrating innovative practices and expanding the commercialization of low-carbon fuels with production capacities up to 20 million gallons a year. Some of these companies recycle used cooking oil as a feedstock, some are working to supply the Navy and oil refineries with lower carbon fuels, while others are working to assure choosing a biodiesel blend is as easy as picking up a different gas pump.

 

"The case study serves as a great reminder that California is successfully producing biodiesels that are cost-effective, will reduce emissions, and provide quality jobs in the state. To stay competitive and grow California's economy, it's imperative we continue to support the policies and businesses that are working hard every day to strengthen our biodiesel industry," said Russ Teall, President, Biodico.

 

Smart California policies like the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which calls for lower emissions from transportation fuels, are driving demand for and growth of biodiesel in the state. The LCFS further encourages production from waste oils, and biodiesel manufacturers, especially in California, are rewarded by continually reducing their emissions. In fact, if fuel standards like the federal Renewable Fuels Standard and the LCFS continue as planned, the advanced biofuels industry will have the ability to produce up to nearly 3 billion gallons of low-carbon fuel by 2015.

 

As a result of the LCFS, California companies continue to expand, helping the state's economy by providing jobs while helping reach the state's pollution goals. According to E2 analysis, the biofuels market has the potential to be worth more than $60 billion within the next decade, creating over 18,000 jobs from the nearly 30 biorefineries expected to open by 2015 in the US. Many of the biodiesel companies profiled also prioritize local production to increase the sustainability of their practices, and all of the companies use domestic feedstock sources, therefore reducing dependence on foreign oil. 

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. For more information, visit www.edf.org/california. Follow us on Twitter @EDF_CA and read our blog at http://blogs.edf.org/californiadream. 

 

Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2.org) is a national community of business leaders who promote sound environmental policy that builds economic prosperity. We provide an independent, nonpartisan resource for understanding the business perspective on environmental issues. Working with business, environmental and non-traditional allies, E2 helps shape state and national policy that's good for the economy and the environment.

Advanced Biofuels Industry Shows Steady Growth

Report Finds Supplies Sufficient
to Meet
Renewable Fuel Standard through 2016

By Environmental Entrepreneurs -- August 27, 2013

Environmental Entrepreneurs' (E2) annual assessment of the advanced biofuel industry shows steady improvements in technology and production capacity, and concludes that there will be sufficient supply of advanced biofuels to meet the federal Renewable Fuel Standard through 2016. The report comes amidst renewed scrutiny of the RFS from Congress this summer, as the oil industry and other interest groups seek to roll back the renewable fuel requirements.

The RFS requires that the majority of future growth in biofuels production come from non-food cellulosic biofuels, and the slower than expected commercialization of the cellulosic industry has caused some to lose patience with the program. E2's report suggests that the policy is beginning to deliver on its stated purpose of developing a domestically produced, clean-burning alternative to oil.

"The advanced biofuels industry continues to grow, despite a persistently challenging financial climate," said report co-author Mary Solecki, who runs the E2 Clean Fuels Program. "A number of commercial scale operations are online with many more to come, providing further evidence that the RFS, if implemented properly, can work to drive the production of clean, low carbon fuels."

To qualify as advanced for the E2 report, a biofuel must deliver at least a 50 percent reduction in carbon intensity compared to petroleum using calculations developed by the California Air Resources Board. Biodiesel remains the dominant advanced biofuel today and is expected to remain the forerunner through 2016. So-called "drop-in" fuels show significant progress and the report authors expect them to contribute more substantially to overall advanced biofuel capacity over time.

"Our research suggests there is real potential for advanced biofuels to continue to scale up," Solecki said. "New investments and regulatory certainty will help ensure the successful commercialization of these projects."

The Environmental Protection Agency, which administers the RFS, is expected to announce biofuel volume requirements for 2014 sometime over the next month. And while the report shows that the biofuels industry can meet near-term production targets, even under the best circumstances, advanced biofuels can account for only 0.7 percent of U.S. fuel demand - suggesting that while biofuels can be part of efforts to cut oil use, they must be paired with other solutions such as expended electric vehicle use and greater fuel efficiency.

Key Report Findings
-- Advanced biofuels capacity for 2013 is 1 billion gallons gasoline equivalent. Capacity for 2015 is between 1.4 and 1.6 billion gallons gasoline equivalent.


-- 160 commercial scale facilities planned, under construction, or complete from 159 companies

-- Private investment in the advanced biofuel industry totals over $4.85 billion since 2007


-- Federal loan guarantees exceed $1.1 billion since 2008. Nine of the current biorefinery projects have received these loan guarantees.

For more information please see www.fuelinggrowth.org. For more details on Environmental Entrepreneurs and its work on biofuels see www.e2.org. 

 REGULATORY AND POLICY ISSUE UPDATES

French fries Beautiful oil  French fries

  

  

CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD: ADF RULEMAKING PROCESS
Air Resources Board staff will host the third and final public workshop on September 5th
to discuss regulatory concepts for establishing fuel requirements for alternative diesel fuels (ADF). The final rule is to be adopted in this fall. 

 

The draft regulation, meeting notice and related information can be found at:  
CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD: LOW CARBON FUEL STANDARD (LCFS)

The LCFS Q1 2013 Data Summary was released on July 31th. It showed the volume of credits for biodiesel at 9%. The report can be found at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/lcfs.htm.

On August 12th, the Air Resources Board sent out the following text in an email to its altdiesel, altfuels, fuels, and lcfs lists:

"On July 15, 2013, the State of California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District issued its opinion in POET, LLC v. California Air Resources Board (July 15, 2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 1214, --- 
Cal.Rptr.3d ----, 2013 WL 3821605 (Cal.App. 5 Dist.), 2013 Daily Journal D.A.R. 9223. The Court held that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) would remain in effect and that the Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) can continue to implement and enforce the 2013 regulatory standards while it corrects certain aspects of the procedures by which the LCFS was originally adopted. Accordingly, ARB staff is continuing to implement and enforce the LCFS while addressing the Court's concerns.

ARB staff had planned to propose amendments to the LCFS regulation in October 2013; instead, we will be proposing for our Board's consideration in 2014 a consolidated regulation package 
that responds to the Court's decision and contains additional amendments that staff considers important for the continued success of the LCFS program. Meanwhile, the 2013 LCFS standards, 
which represent a 1.0 percent decrease in carbon intensity from the 2010 baseline values for gasoline and diesel, will remain in effect through 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Waugh, Chief, Transportation Fuels Branch, at (916) 322-8263 or mwaugh@arb.ca.gov, or Floyd Vergara, Chief, Alternative Fuels
 

CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION (CEC): AB 118 FUNDING

A solicitation is expected soon. The CEC adopted its 2013-2014 Investment Plan Update for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program at a Business Meeting on May 8th. All details of the plan, which allocates $23 million for Alternative Fuel Production facilities, are posted at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/2012-ALT-2/. Interested parties are encouraged to subscribe to the CEC's Alt Fuels Listserv on that page to stay informed of upcoming solicitations.

 

CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION (CEC): IEPR    

CBA board members Russ Teall and Joe Gershen presented the results of CBA's extensive industry surveys at CEC's Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) workshop on July 31st for inclusion in CEC's Transportation Energy Staff Report, an element of the 2013 IEPR Report. IEPR workshop information and presentations are posted at:    

DIVISION OF MEASUREMENT STANDARDS (DMS)

There is no policy update this month. CBA continues its participation in the
fuels working group of the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) consortium, which is designed to find solutions to fiscal challenges facing the program due to mandatory General Fund reductions. DMS is involved with biodiesel standards, testing, and labeling.  
 

STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD: UST REGULATIONS

There is no policy update this month. CBA urges compliance with the new 2012 permanent regulations governing UST storage of biodiesel. See our Regulatory Matters webpage for more information and links to the State Water Board website that posts the new compatibility forms from equipment manufacturers. The Water Board list is constantly being updated as new and revised forms come in, but revised forms are not labeled as such. Also, please be advised that your CUPA may require engineering approvals for non-integral secondary containment (sumps and UDCs).    

   

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATIVE ISSUES     

California bills AB 8 and SB 11, to extend AB 118, Carl Moyer, and AB 923 incentive funding through 2023, will be voted on in appropriations committees on Friday, August 30th. The floor is the next hurdle before September 13th, the deadline for getting the bills to the Governor's desk.


Contact info for California state legislators can be found here: 

http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts/legislators/your_legislator.html

  

FEDERAL ISSUES
On August 6th, the EPA released the much anticipated final rule requiring 2.75 billion gallons of Advanced Biofuel under the RFS in 2013. This announcement was a key victory for our industry because biodiesel qualifies in both the Biomass-based Diesel category and the overall Advanced Biofuel category (along with traditional ethanol, renewable diesel and cellulosic ethanol).  In response, the oil lobby and their friends in Congress have unleashed rash of calls for repeal or major reform of the RFS.  While most of the negative commentary is directed at ethanol, the entire program is being threatened by the negative campaign.  As usual, we urge you to keep in contact with your representatives in Congress to ask for continued support of the RFS.

In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, THOMAS, provides legislative information from the Library of Congress, including contact info for your representatives.   
 
CBA WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS     


Village Fuel Stop, established in 1996, is located at 31611 Castaic Road, Castaic, CA 91384, on Interstate Highway 5 just south of the Grapevine. Office ph: 661-295-7256; Fax: 661-295-7180; Biodiesel2015@Gmail.com.
 


______  JOIN CBA AS AN INDIVIDUAL, A NONPROFIT, OR A BUSINESS  _____  

 

If you are reading this and are not yet a member, please join us. CBA offers membership levels with the following annual dues: $25 for students and veterans; $100 for individuals and nonprofit organizations; $500 (Bronze business level); and $2000 (Silver business level). Full voting board level memberships are available by application at $3000 (Gold) or $5000 (Platinum). Our Join Us webpage has details and an easy online membership fee payment process.
   

Membership benefits include:   

  • CBA's Email Newsletter with important industry updates and features about Who's Who in biodiesel in California and Action Alerts when your help can really make a difference.
  • Participation in internal email communications, policy discussions, and legislative and regulatory visits. 
  • Discount on CBA's annual California Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Conference.
  • Your company's logo and link on our Members webpage ($500 level and up).  
  • Special recognition at events and in publications (Platinum members).    

_______   SIGN UP FOR EMAIL ALERTS  _____

 

Anyone can sign up to get CBA's special Alert emails, which we send out when we need biodiesel stakeholders and enthusiasts to take action on important issues facing our industry. Visit our Home page and add your email address.  

 

_______   VIEW PAST NEWSLETTERS AND EMAIL ALERTS  _____

 

Just click on the "View CBA Email Newsletter Archive" button on ouHome page.

 

WHO'S WHO IN CALIFORNIA BIODIESEL 

Kristof Reiter      

Kristof Reiter

Founder, Reiter Scientific    

 

The founder of Reiter Scientific, Kristof Reiter, began his career in the biodiesel industry when a farmer friend offered him a hundred dollars to turn castor oil into biodiesel. His initial experience was successful enough that he proceeded to spend every free moment of the next year optimizing, degumming, bleaching, esterifying, and transesterifying reactions. This experience, along with his degree in chemistry, additional business education, and the influence provided by observing his father's business ethics, led him to begin trading and consulting and ultimately to form Reiter Scientific, a company that caters to the oil, grease and biodiesel industries.

 

Reiter Scientific provides services critical to the operational needs of clients who are not able to have an onsite specialist. These services include technical design, financial modeling, reaction optimization, permitting assistance, business consulting, and most recently, marketing consulting, which provides marketing in addition to website editing and social media management. Since 2009 Reiter has consulted, traded feedstock, and provided hard goods support to over 30 companies in 19 states and 3 countries. Kristof enjoys conducting business by traveling and living part-time in various regions where he feels he can provide the best service to his clients, including those based in California.

 

From its inception, Reiter Scientific has been involved, through consulting and trading, in various research and development projects, including working with camelina biodiesel, castor oil, jatropha oil, agricultural product development, business and facility expansions, chemical process development and optimization, permitting, and business acquisitions. Reiter provided technical assistance on cold soak issues to the R3 Energy facility in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, which uses animal fat and other recycled oil feedstocks. Reiter trades primarily yellow and brown grease, rendered fats, vegetable oil, and other virgin oils. Kristof believes in providing his clients with useful tools and is happy to supply no-cost resources through the "Resources" page of ReiterScientific.com.

 

When asked how his business survived the economic downturn that was so hard on start-ups in the biodiesel industry, Kristof said, "It was really tough. In all honesty, I lived below the poverty line, multiple times. I was fortunate enough to find some good, fair and honest clients along the way that led to long-term mutually beneficial relationships." The economic downturn wasn't Kristof's only scary experience, he says. Entering the industry was a risk when the blender's credit was relatively new and RINs didn't yet exist. Through the difficult times, he was intrigued by the various challenges and knew that there was growth potential for the industry, a belief that still keeps him motivated to continue adding to his expertise.

 

In both the trading and consulting divisions of Reiter Scientific, Kristof always advises his clients to move in the best direction for their business, which includes having them carefully consider what additional feedstock refining stages may be required to process a crude oil. Often, he assists them in the process. He believes that trading and consulting are not only an important part of his business, but that, because he has extensive background and experience in these areas, this adds value for his clients.

 

Sharing some of his thoughts about the industry, specifically what he thinks is the key to profitability for producers, Kristof says, "What's keeping biofuels from being a viable replacement for petroleum is the lack of high-yield-per-acre, oil bearing feedstocks that can be grown on sub-premium land. If that issue can be resolved, feedstock prices will fall, thereby reducing the industry's reliance on subsidies, and making the anxiety surrounding government policy less extreme." In his experience working around the country and abroad, Kristof points out that California has a great climate for biodiesel year round and believes that, as vehicle manufacturers continue to adopt higher biodiesel blends, the market could see a lot of natural demand. He also expects the implementation of Low Carbon Fuel Standard to be "quite bullish."

 

Seeking to become a greater asset to the biodiesel industry, Kristof is always working to add the next division to Reiter Scientific that will enhance the services and assistance he provides to his clients. His plans for the future include continuing with trading and consulting, which he enjoys, but also expanding as much as possible into broader areas of service to the industry.

 

Reiter believes that CBA is doing a good job of representing the concerns of the biodiesel industry, which includes a range of stakeholders, not just producers, and says that in a state as large and populated as California it can be important to speak with one voice on critical issues.

 

CBA is happy to have Reiter Scientific as a member, and to his point about speaking with one voices on critical issues, we couldn't agree more.

 

Thank you for your time and efforts on behalf of biodiesel. I look forward to working with you.  

 

Sincerely,

Celia DuBose

Executive Director

California Biodiesel Alliance